New Delhi, Aug. 18: For the past fortnight, a small part of Tihar has been converted into what a jail official described as a “five-star hotel” for Sahara chief Subrata Roy.
Tihar’s 500sqft conference room was already air-conditioned and boasted an attached bathroom and anteroom when Roy was shifted there on August 4. It has now been rigged out with video-conferencing and Wi-fi facilities, three soft beds and two extra desktops.
“Never in the history of Tihar would such infrastructure have been provided to any prisoner. This is unbelievable,” a senior jail official told The Telegraph. “He is enjoying the comforts of a five-star hotel.”
The Supreme Court had Roy moved from his 5ft by 10ft cell to the conference room, along with the two arrested Sahara directors, so he could negotiate the sale of three overseas hotels he owns and raise the Rs 10,000 crore he needs to get bail.
The trio have been allowed the use of three laptops and three cellphones in addition to the two existing landlines. Roy has also been allowed two secretaries and a computer technician at his own cost.
Jail officials said they did provide “concessions” to “high-profile” inmates.
“They are provided with a TV set, a pillow and a mosquito net. But Roy is enjoying unprecedented comforts, and the other prisoners are looking at him with envy,” an official said.
Roy has been in jail since March 4 for ignoring an apex court directive to refund investors. On August 14, the court extended the trio’s stay in the conference room by another 15 days.
Visitors are allowed to meet the Sahara chief from 6am to 8am on all days except Sundays and government holidays. In normal times, the conference room hosts confidential meetings held by the director-general (prisons).
Sources said the industrialist was holding negotiations every day through video-conferencing and making a series of STD and ISD calls to sell the three hotels: London’s Grosvenor House and New York’s Plaza Hotel and Dreams Downtown hotel.
“He is inviting bids from potential buyers, including the Sultan of Brunei,” a prison official said.